Men's Basketball

UMass Leaps Into A-10s With 69-67 Win Over URI

Sampson Carter hugs Ricky Harris after the senior hit the winning shot.

Sampson Carter hugs Ricky Harris after the senior hit the winning shot.

March 6, 2010

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AMHERST, Mass. - On Senior Day, Ricky Harris carried UMass into the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a game-winning lay-up with 3.5 seconds left to clinch a 69-67 victory. The UMass basketball team will play at No. 6 seed Charlotte on Tuesday night at 7 p.m., as the No. 11 after topping Rhode Island on Saturday at a raucous Mullins Center. Harris scored a game-high 28 points and moved to third in career points, passing Lou Roe (1,905) and now has 1,917.

UMass is now 11-19 overall and 5-11 in the Atlantic 10 and will play at Charlotte's Halton Arena. Earlier this season, the 49ers beat UMass at the Mullins Center, 72-58 on Jan. 30, 2010.

Rhode Island had its NCAA Tournament hopes severely damaged by UMass for the second year in a row in a regular-season finale in losing to the Minutemen. Rhode Island is now 21-8 overall and 9-7 in the conference and will host No. 12 seed Saint Joseph's.

Marquis Jones missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer which would have won the game.

Harris made two free throws with 1:09 left to put UMass ahead, 67-65. Marquis Jones then calmed made two free throws with 37 second left to tie the game again at 67 all.

Javorn Farrell tied his career-high with 12 points and Freddie Riley added 11 for the Minutemen. Rhode Island had five players in double-figures led by Marquis Jones.

UMass took a 59-57 lead on a lay-up by Farrell with 3:50 left but missed the free throw after being fouled. The Rams answered with their own 3-point conversion by Marquis Jones for the 60-59 edge with 3:42 left. Harris regained the lead again at 61-60 on a pair of foul shots with 3:32 remaining. Delroy James follow retook the Rams lead at 62-61 with 2:58 remaining. But Terrell Vinson's hook shot went in for another lead change and a 63-62 lead.

Harris ended the back-and-forth with a lay-up and a 3-point lead at 65-62 with 1:46 left. Yet again, it was answered as James canned a 3-pointer with 1:26 left to retie the game at 65 all. That tied the game for the sixth time in a five minute span.

UMass used a 12-1 run midway through the second half to take its first lead in 32 minutes at 52-50. The Minutemen toed the game at 50 on a Harris 3-pointer, the points that moved him to third on the career scoring list at UMass, passing Roe. Sampson Carter gave the Minutemen their first lead in 32 minutes making a pair of free throws with 6:08 left in the second half. The Rams were held without a field goal for about six minutes before Akeem Richmond bombed a 3-pointer to regain the Rhode Island lead at 53-52 with 5:49 left in the second half.

Farrell converted a 3-point play with 5:00 minutes left to retie the game at 55 all. Will Martell then scored on a goaltending call for a 57-55 URI edge. Harris re-tied the game at 57 all on a putback after he missed two free throws with 4:28 left in the game.

The Minutemen battled all day and were within single-digits for the first three quarters of the game, but did not lead until six minutes were left in the game. UMass cut the deficit to three in the second half on several occasions on a pair of Riley 3-pointers in the first six minutes of the second half. But Rhode Island continued to answer all game.

Rhode Island led 33-27 at halftime as Ben Eaves led the Rams with 10 points, canning a pair of 3-pointers. The Rams used an 8-1 run midway through the half finished by an Eaves lay-up with 12:21 left to take a nine-point lead at 21-12. Harris scored 11 of his points in the first half to move over the 1,900-point plateau.




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